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Condoms For Elementary Students? Yes, Says Mass. Town (no after all)

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
update post 23, no condoms for elementary kids after all

http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news...75/detail.html

Elementary school students in Provincetown would be given condoms – whether their parents approve or not...
First grade students can ask for the condoms, though the policy requires that students speak to a school nurse or other trained counselor before receiving one.

Dr. Beth Singer, school superintendent, said since there is no age limit on the distribution policy, she wanted to ensure that younger students requesting condoms receive information on their use.

The board voted unanimously to approve the policy, which states that the school district will not honor requests from parents that their children not be given condoms.
post #2 of 48
I would be taking my kids out of that school immediately.
post #3 of 48
From what I read, they're not passing out condoms to first graders in class along with worksheets and field trip slips. They're allowing condoms to be available to students who ask for them. I don't have any issue with that. First, the kid would have to know what to ask for, then deal with speaking to a nurse or counselor about it before receiving it, then ... what? It's not like a younger child can do anything with it other than maybe make a water balloon (which is what I did with my dad's condoms when I was a kid). Having condoms available to sexually active youth is important, so those condoms might come in handy for the kids in later grades. When I was in elementary school (in the '80's) there were some fifth and sixth graders who were sexually active, and some got pregnant. Condoms would've been preferable in those situations.
post #4 of 48
Bravo to that school district & super. for her quote. I agree it doesn't sound like they are just willy-nilly handing them out or forcing classes onto students on how to use them.

I hope more districts adopts a similar policy as STD and HIV infection rates I believe are on the rise again in young people.
post #5 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusdebi View Post
From what I read, they're not passing out condoms to first graders in class along with worksheets and field trip slips. They're allowing condoms to be available to students who ask for them. I don't have any issue with that.
post #6 of 48
Thread Starter 
First graders need condoms. I've heard everything now. If there ever a limit to be reached or is everything always ok regardless of age?


Add this to the reasons I'm grateful I homeschooled.
post #7 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
First graders need condoms. I've heard everything now. If there ever a limit to be reached or is everything always ok regardless of age?


Add this to the reasons I'm grateful I homeschooled.
I don't think first graders need condoms. But I don't have any problem with condoms being available to first graders. Or second graders. Or third graders. After that, they very well may need condoms, and should certainly be available.

I think the article was written poorly just to gain readers and $pon$ors. I'm not a fan of sensationalist media.

I'm grateful that I homeschool as well. My children get comprehensive sex education at appropriate ages and levels. No abstinence-only or straights-only sex ed for my kids! I expect that they'll see condoms around age 10, along with other examples of birth control/ STI prevention. And those discussions will continue through the teen years.
post #8 of 48
Arduinna- It doesn't say that first graders need condoms. It says that they are making them available at an elementary school for those kids that ask for them and they aren't putting an age limit on it. Unfortunately, there are 5th and 6th graders that do need them. They just aren't putting an arbitrary minimum age limit on it. I highly doubt anyone will be requesting them and listening to the nurse's shpeel anyway.
post #9 of 48
Another reason we homeschool.

If a first grader genuinely "needs" a condom--as in having sex-- (or a second, third, fourth grader) odds are they are being abused or taken advantage of. I don't see making condoms available to them to be a brilliant solution to that.
post #10 of 48
As a former HIV/STD clinic manager...it can be done very discreetly. But, what really makes me sad is what is there to look forward to if you are having sex already at 12? That is such a grown up thing...the emotions are too immature, and a lot of time it is done for all the wrong reasons. It really breaks my heart...just be a kid while you can. Being a grown up is the pits A LOT.
post #11 of 48
I'm 32 now, but when I was 11, I heard other kids talking about how they have sex. Pretending the problem doesn't exist is how we get teen pregnancy/STDs. Bravo to Provincetown!
post #12 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by witchygrrl View Post
I'm 32 now, but when I was 11, I heard other kids talking about how they have sex. Pretending the problem doesn't exist is how we get teen pregnancy/STDs. Bravo to Provincetown!
post #13 of 48
I'll be the last person to suggest that it's okay that first graders would NEED condoms. Of course they don't, and shouldn't. But I guess I just don't see what's the big deal. The availability of condoms at school is not going to encourage kids who aren't interested in sex to get interested. Nor is the non-availability of condoms going to stop kids who want to have sex from doing so. So who cares whether the odd first grader might get hold of condoms and do whatever with them? Can't you just see the bunch of kids hiding out back with a banana and a condom, laughing uproariously about how you can unroll the thing onto the banana? What's the big deal if they get hold of one and get up to some harmless mischief with it?

I have never heard that denying kids accurate information about sex, or access to contraception, is going to prevent them from having sex when they decide they're ready. I am pretty certain, though, that having frank, honest conversations with caring adults can do an awful lot to encourage a kid who's not ready to wait. I'd rather my kids know what a condom is, and what it's for, a long long time before they might ever need to use one.
post #14 of 48
I'm 38 now but I've always wondered if the 6th grader who got pregnant while we were in elementary school had any kind of childhood or if her child did too.

It's difficult for me to believe that a 6th grader, let alone a 2nd grader would actually USE a condom correctly (Frick. I can't get my 6 year old to screw the top on a water bottle right yet!!) but maybe it would have been at least a step in the right direction.
post #15 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusdebi View Post
I don't think first graders need condoms. But I don't have any problem with condoms being available to first graders. Or second graders. Or third graders. After that, they very well may need condoms, and should certainly be available.
They are available all over the country, at the store. There's no reason to add another thing to put schools in charge of rather than parents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post
I'll be the last person to suggest that it's okay that first graders would NEED condoms. Of course they don't, and shouldn't. But I guess I just don't see what's the big deal. The availability of condoms at school is not going to encourage kids who aren't interested in sex to get interested. Nor is the non-availability of condoms going to stop kids who want to have sex from doing so. So who cares whether the odd first grader might be hold of condoms and do whatever with them? Can't you just see the bunch of kids hiding out back with a banana and a condom, laughing uproariously about how you can unroll the thing onto the banana? What's the big deal if they get hold of one and get up to some harmless mischief with it?
The big deal with it is that the parents don't get any say as to whether or not their children are being provided with the condoms. Add to it that tax payers are going to be the ones paying for it. It don't want to pay for a 6th grader to be having sex or for a 1st grader to play with a condom.
post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evie's Mama View Post
They are available all over the country, at the store. There's no reason to add another thing to put schools in charge of rather than parents.



The big deal with it is that the parents don't get any say as to whether or not their children are being provided with the condoms. Add to it that tax payers are going to be the ones paying for it. It don't want to pay for a 6th grader to be having sex or for a 1st grader to play with a condom.
The kids I knew who were having sex before high school didn't have the kinds of parents who care. Their "say" would involve violence, if not just apathy. These kids didn't have the resources to obtain condoms at a store. They were often poor, always abused or neglected, and usually had parents who were absent or addicts. I don't know that they would've utilized a program such as this, but it certainly would've been nice for them to have the option.

I'm fine with my tax dollars going towards safer sex for adolescents. It's preferable to STIs and pregnancy.
post #17 of 48
lotusdebi,

What you said. I agree. These are usually kids that can't talk to their Parents about it.
post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatWrangler View Post
lotusdebi,

What you said. I agree. These are usually kids that can't talk to their Parents about it.
I'm just not ok with the government taking over anything that parents are not doing for their children. It's a shame that these children can't talk to their parents about it, but that doesn't mean the government needs to step in and do it instead then.
post #19 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evie's Mama View Post
I'm just not ok with the government taking over anything that parents are not doing for their children. It's a shame that these children can't talk to their parents about it, but that doesn't mean the government needs to step in and do it instead then.
These are kids who are attending school, not being homeschooled. Public schools are something that the government is doing for the children when the parents are not. The government is already stepping in here. And, in this case, the school is making something available to the children. The kids have to ask for it. And the kids will be spoken to about it. And, hopefully, those nurses and counselors will take action in the cases when abuse is an issue - which is often the situation when elementary school kids are having sex. I'm just not seeing the downside here, and I'm very libertarian-minded in many ways. These kids are not being told to go forth and have sex - here's your rubber. They now simply have a way to get condoms if they need them.
post #20 of 48
Well, if we're going to talk about taxpayers footing the bill, it seems to me that when young people are having unprotected sex, contracting diseases, and bringing babies into the world before they are mature enough to be caring parents, that the taxpayers wind up paying for that, too, in many cases. And the costs are a lot higher, in those cases. And not just the financial costs-- the human costs as well. I would think that a little spending on a few condoms, for a kid who's otherwise not going to have access to them, could represent in the end a saving to the taxpayers. And I realize that some people might object to their money being used to pay for something they are personally opposed to. I feel your pain. I am personally very much opposed to abstinence-only sex education, but in many places tax money is being used to fund such programs.

And as far as the parents. Well, sure, in an ideal situation, kids' parents would be taking responsibility for this stuff. But they often don't. If the schools don't do it, who is going to? Somebody has to.
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